- Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Vrushali Angadi, PhD, CCC-SLP, earned her doctoral degree in Rehabilitation Sciences from the University of Kentucky, under the mentorship of Dr. Joseph Stemple. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from the University of Mumbai, India. She completed a Research fellowship at the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, India with a focus on alaryngeal voice and speech rehabilitation. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and a speech-language pathologist in the UK Voice and Swallow Clinic.
Her main research focus is evidence-based, post-treatment voice and swallowing rehabilitation in the head and neck cancer population.
“I started my PhD looking at how we can treat voice problems in this population — a lot of people don't know this, but chronic voice problems are prevalent following radiation therapy, especially for cancers of the voice box,” she said. “And these problems don't just exist after treatment, they exist for years after treatment. But another barrier to treatment effectiveness also became very apparent, and that was the lack of accessibility to specialty services like ours.”
She has also focused efforts on developing technology to improve accessibility to those services.
Dr. Angadi’s duties mainly include management of voice, swallowing and upper airway disorders in the University of Kentucky Voice and Swallow clinic, but she also provides clinical supervision for graduate students completing rotations in the clinic. She also assists Dr. Stemple in teaching the graduate class in Voice Disorders, while also providing lectures to the Otolaryngology residents at the University of Kentucky on diagnosis and management of laryngeal pathologies as well as alaryngeal voice rehabilitation.
“I don't think I would have been able to complete a lot of my research if it wasn't for my undergraduate assistants,” she said. “I think the undergraduate research program is one of the best — it's very well coordinated, and it gives us an opportunity to make sure that we get to know our students, and it gives the opportunity for students to get to know their faculty members and the work that we do.”
It all helps achieve the mission of the College, she said.
“The main mission of the College is to improve health care for Kentuckians and that's exactly what my research focuses on,” she said. “It's not just improving quality of life but improving accessibility to services. I'm going to brag on the University of Kentucky Voice and Swallow Clinic just a bit but we're one of 15 specialty centers in the country and we have some of the best speech language pathologists working at our center.”
It's a valuable resource for students and the community.
“Any student coming to UK is very uniquely placed because not every college has a hospital across the street, a specialty center within the college and then individuals practicing with patients across the lifespan — and they all have it within one roof on the same campus, where they're not driving 30 minutes away to gain experience in a certain area,” she said. “So, I think any student who comes to UK to major in Communication Sciences and Disorders is extremely uniquely placed and we always hope that our students take advantage of those opportunities.”
Each week, we'll introduce you to another of your amazing CHS professors while we also explore their research. The College of Health Sciences is The Gateway to the Health Professions.